Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Mr Tom Power

Mr Tom Power

Tom Power

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer (Education)
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
  • Education
  • tom.power

Professional biography

Tom Power is a senior lecturer in Teacher Education and International Development, having worked to understand and support the development of teachers and schools serving disadvantaged communities in the global south, since 2000. Tom has also worked to explore the potential of digital technologies as tools for professional development and pedagogic practice, in both developed and developing economy contexts.

Currently programme director for English in Action, Tom previously co-directed the Digital Education Enhancement Project, DEEP, which researched the potential of mobile technologies to support teacher professional development and practice in schools serving disadvantaged communities in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, and Cairo, Egypt. Tom was a lead academic on the Teacher Education Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA, www.tessafrica.net) programme, chairing the web and media group during the design of the multi-lingual, multi-national OER website, and providing academic leadership to teacher professional development materials in numeracy. Tom has also worked on a number of UK teacher education programmes including Teach Global, Teach and Learn, and the Learning Schools Programme. Tom has carried out consultancies for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, DFID, the British Council and BRAC Bangladesh.

Awards

  • 2010, English in Action receives ICT4Dev Award, with Tom Power as Programme Director
  • 2013, Tom Power receives Literati Award for Excellence from Emerald Publishers, for his article on South Sudan, in the journal Transforming Government.
  • 2013, English in Action receives ELTONs Award from the British Council, with Tom Power as Programme Director
  • 2014, English in Action receives Team Award from the Open University, with Tom Power as Programme Director.
  • 2015, OU REF 2014 Impact Case Study featuring research and development projects directed by Tom Power, is selected by UKCDS as one of 'Top 20 REF Impact studies' (out of 6,900) for illustrating how UK research is improving peoples lives around the world.

Research interests

Tom's research interest is in pedagogy and practice relating to School Based Teacher Development and how peer support and low cost mobile phones may be used to enable and support this, at large scale, in international development contexts. Increasingly located within a Realist Evaluation framework (considering how interactions between processes and contexts produced varied outcomes) Tom's research ranges from initial participatory research studies wtih teachers in South Africa and Egypt to large-scale quantitative evaluations of Teacher and Student perceptions, classroom practices and learning outcomes in Bangladesh. Tom is currently leading a Randomized Control Trial of classroom practices and student learning outcomes in primary and secondary school classrooms in Bangladesh, as the final evaluation of English in Action, with results expected late 2016.

In addition to core research and evaluation funding through EIA, DFID Bangladesh have also provided an additional £50k research funding to enable an RCT methodology with appropriate sample size. Alongside this quantitative evaluation, Tom is also leading a small-scale qualitative study, to understand how teachers experience 'support in school' for implementing communicative language practices and the ways or contexts in which this support might be experienced differently between teachers in control or treatment schools.

Recent Research Funding

  • £50,000 from DFID Bangladesh (2015-2016) in addition to prior research funding for English in Action, to enable a Randomised Control Trial (quasi-experimental) study in the final phase. Tom Power is lead academic and programme director for these evaluation studies.
  • £30,000 from the British Council Bangladesh (2015-2016), to design and carry out a baseline study for the Assessment Project - Bangladesh. Tom Power is Principle Investigator.
  • £19,000 from BRAC (2015-2016), to co-design and implement an evaluation of BRAC's Computer Assisted Learning programme in Bangladesh secondary schools. Tom Power is  Principle Investigator.

Teaching interests

Tom provides academic leadership to teams working in close collaboration with government departments, teacher education institutes and NGOs to co-develop and co-deliver award winning programmes of School Based Teacher and Teacher Educator Development at large scale, in low-to-middle income countries. These programmes incorporate aspects of mLearning, School-Based Teacher Development, Open Distance Learning (ODL), and Open Educational Resources (OERs). In line with international evidence, they situate teacher professional learning in classrooms and schools, contributing directly to improved teaching practices and student learning outcomes.

Tom is the Open University programme director for English in Action (EIA, www.eiabd.com), a large scale teacher develolpment initiative in Bangladesh, funded by UKAID through the Department for International Development (DFID). EIA is currently in its final three-year phase, providing School Based Teacher Development through mLearning and localised support, for approximately thirty thousand English Language Teachers in  primary and secondary sector schools across Bangladesh. EIA is in the process of being institutionalised within national teacher development programmes, activities and materials by the Government of Bangladesh.

Impact and engagement

The 2014 Research Evaluation Framework (REF) Impact Case Study featuring Tom's research on DEEP and EIA was selected by the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences as one of the top 20 impact stories (out of 6,900 studies submitted to REF 2014) showing how UK research is improving the lives of people around the world. The same case study was also featured in a separate analysis of REF 2014 impact studies carried out by Kings College London. Examining the real-world impact of international development research, the authors selected this case study as one of just four examples (p14) illustrating all stages of impact.

In 2013-2014, Tom was invited by the Department for International Development to lead their team producing a literature review and resultant Topic Guide on Educational Technology in Low-to-Middle Income Countries, intended to promote deeper understanding of key considerations for international education advisors working with governments or NGOs.

Tom is regularly invited to speak with donors, policy makers and senior government representatives about evidence, policy and practice relating to approaches to teacher development and/or educational technology, in low-to-middle income countries. In 2015-16, Tom:

  • was an invited speaker at an Ethics Symposium ran by the British Association for International Comparative Education.
  • chaired a discussion panel on Digital teachers for the British Council in Delhi;
  • led a technical forum for the Ministry of Mass and Primary Education in Bangladesh, on Teachers' Professional Development for Effective Teaching and Learning Practices.
  • led a follow-up technical forum for the Ministry of Mass and Primary Education in Bangladesh, on Enabling change: Interdependence between: modelling pedagogy; school-based development; networks and digital tools.
  • presented the findings of the Assessment Project Baseline Report to representatives from the Ministry of Education, making recommendations to inform the development of a policy roadmap for the assessment of speaking and listening skills.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)CentreFaculty of Education and Language Studies

Publications

The ‘trainer in your pocket’: mobile phones within a teacher continuing professional development (CDP) program in Bangladesh (2013)
Walsh, Christopher S.; Power, Tom; Khatoon, Masuda; Biswas, Sudeb Kumar; Paul, Ashok Kumar; Sarka, Bikash Chandra and Griffiths, Malcolm
Professional Development in Education, 39(2) (pp. 186-200)
English in action: school based teacher development in Bangladesh (2012-12)
Power, Tom; Shaheen, Robina; Solly, Michael; Woodward, Clare and Burton, Sonia
Curriculum Journal, 23(4) (pp. 503-529)
English in Action: school based teacher development in Bangladesh (2012-12)
Power, Tom; Shaheen, Robina; Solly, Mike; Woodward, Clare and Burton, Sonia
Curriculum Journal, 23(4) (pp. 503-529)
Towards a new architecture for teacher professional development in South Sudan (2012)
Power, Tom
Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 6(4) (pp. 368-379)
Introducing mobile technology for enhancing teaching and learning in Bangladesh: teacher perspectives (2010-11)
Shohel, M. Mahruf C. and Power, Tom
Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25(3) (pp. 201-215)
The classroom in your pocket? (2007-09)
Power, Tom and Thomas, Rhodri
Curriculum Journal, 18(3) (pp. 373-388)
Deep impact: a study of the use of hand-held computers for teacher professional development in primary schools in the Global South (2004-03)
Leach, Jenny; Patel, Rakhee; Peters, Alexis; Power, Thomas; Ahmed, Atef and Makalima, Shumi
European Journal of Teacher Education, 27(1) (pp. 5-28)
Educational Technology Topic Guide (2014-10)
Power, Tom; Gater, Rosalind; Grant, Catherine and Winters, Niall
HEART Topic Guides
Publisher : The Health & Education Advice & Resource Team (HEART) | Published : London
The 'new' new technology: exploiting the potential of mobile communications and open educational resources (2013)
Power, Tom
In: Moon, Bob ed. Teacher Education and the Challenge of Development:a global analysis. Education, Poverty and International Development (pp. 212-226)
ISBN : 978-0415600712 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Mobile technologies: current practice, future possibilities (2009)
Power, Tom and Sankale, James
In: Vrasidas, Charalambos; Zembylas, Michalinos and Glass, Gene V. eds. ICT for education, development and social justice. Current Perspectives on Applied Information Technologies (pp. 123-146)
ISBN : 9781607520221 | Publisher : Information Age Publishing | Published : Charlotte, NC. USA
Is there a role for information and communications technologies (ICTs) in the education and development or disadvantaged rural communities? (2009)
Power, Tom; Porteus, Kimberley; Ramadiro, Brian; Thsume, Nomakholwa; Makalema, Shumi and Thomas, Rhodri
In: Vrasidas, Charalambos; Zembylas, Michalinos and Glass, Gene V. eds. ICT for Education, Development and Social Justice (pp. 85-102)
ISBN : 9781607520221 | Publisher : Information Age Publishing | Published : Charlotte, NC, USA
Changes in teaching and learning: what counts, who to, and how is it counted? (2015-09)
Power, Tom; Mathew, Rama and Siddique, Ashraf
In : Learning for Sustainable Futures. Making the Connections. (15-17 September 2015, Oxford)
Evaluating classroom practice: a critical analysis of approaches to evaluation in large scale teacher education or education technology programmes, in international development contexts (2014-11-18)
Power, Tom and McCormick, Robert
In : 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICER 2014) (17-19 November 2014 , Seville, Spain) (pp. 1269-1275)
Educational technology: evidence of impacts on teaching and learning. Findings and recommendations from the DFID Topic Guide on Educational Technology, 2014. (2014-09-16)
Power, Tom
In : Education, Technology and Women. Key Issues in Development. (16-17 September 2014, Dhaka, Bangladesh) (pp. 12-13)
Supporting development through improving English language teaching and learning in Bangladesh (2014-09-09)
Power, Tom and Erling, Elizabeth
In : British Association for International and Comparative Education Conference (8-10 September 2014, Bath)
Teacher education, mobile learning, and the challenges of scale (2014-02)
Power, Tom
In : Teacher Educator Conference 2014 (TEC 14) (21-23 February 2014, Hyderabad)
How to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of m-Education Innovation through sustainable delivery, during and after funded support? (2013-10)
Power, Tom
In : 3rd Annual mEducation Alliance International Symposium: Commit Fair for Project Scaling (15-16 October 2013, Washington, DC, USA)
From education to health: lessons from cross-disciplinary teaching, research and development activity, in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa (2013-09)
Power, Tom; Long, Lesley Anne and Eyres, Ian
In : 12th UKFIET International Conference on Education and Development: Education and Development Post 2015: Reflecting, Reviewing, Re-visioning (10-12 September 2013, Oxford, UK)
Assessing the impact of large-scale teacher professional development (TPD) in Bangladesh: English in Action (EIA) (2013-04-30)
Shaheen, Robina; Walsh, Christopher; Power, Tom and Burton, Sonia
In : American Educational Research Association (27 April-01 May 2013, San Francisco, California)
Using mobile phones to support ELT in Bangladeshi schools (2012-03-22)
Power, Tom; Walsh, Christopher and Hedges, Claire
In : 46th Annual International IATEFL Conference and Exhibition (19-23 March 2012, Glasgow)
Low cost mobile phones for large scale teacher professional development in Bangladesh (2012)
Walsh, Christopher S.; Shaheen, Robina; Power, Tom; Hedges, Claire; Katoon, Masuda and Mondol, Sikander
In : 11th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn 2012) (15-18 October 2012, Helsinki, Finland )
Going digital on low-cost mobile phones in Bangladesh (2011-11)
Walsh, Christopher and Power, Tom
In : Annual International Conference on Education & e-Learning (EeL) (07-08 November 2011, Singapore)
Transforming English language learning in rural classrooms: OERs, mobile technologies and scale (2011-05-25)
Power, Tom; Umar, Abdurrahman and Hedges, Claire
In : eLearning Africa: 6th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training (25-27th May, 2011, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
IT and English teaching: example from Bangladesh (2011-05)
Power, Tom
In : International Conference on Improving the Quality of Secondary Education (10-12 May 2011, New Delhi, India)
Rethinking Development and the Use of Mobile Technologies: Lessons from Bangladesh (2011)
Walsh, Christopher and Power, Tom
In : Global Learn Asia Pacific 2011 (28 Apr - 01 May 2011)
Introducing mobile technology for enhancing teaching and learning to the English language classroom in Bangladesh (2010-11-25)
Shohel, M. Mahruf C. and Power, Tom
In : The Sixth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (24-28 November 2010, Kochi, India)
Mobile technologies for (English) language learning: An exploration in the context of Bangladesh (2010-03)
Power, Tom and Shrestha, Prithvi
In : IADIS International Conference: Mobile Learning 2010 (19 - 21 March 2010, Porto, Portugal)
Introducing mobile technology for enhancing teaching and learning to the English language classroom in Bangladesh (2010)
Shohel, M. Mahruf C. and Power, Tom
In : 4th International Malaysian Educational Technology Convention (IMETC 2010) (26-29 September 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Is there a role for mobile technologies in open and distance language learning? An exploration in the context of Bangladesh (2009-06-24)
Power, Tom and Shrestha, Prithvi
In : 8th International Language and Development Conference (23-25 June 2009, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Equipping Language Educators at Scale: Open Educational Resources and Institutional Collaboration for Professional Development and Practice (2009-06-24)
Power, Tom; Deane, Michele and Hedges, Claire
In : 8th International Language and Development Conference (23-25 June 2009, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
In the palm of your hand: supporting rural teacher professional development and practice through the use of mobile phones and other handheld digital devices (2007-04-20)
Power, Tom and Sankale, James
In : Meraka Innovate Conference (April 18-20 2007, Pretoria, South Africa)
Using suites of free refurbished computers may cost over four times more than buying and using ‘state of the art’ learning technologies (2006-09-07)
Power, Tom
In : British Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2006 (6-9 September 2006, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)
mLearning: the classroom in your pocket? (2006-09)
Power, Tom and Thomas, Rhodri
In : British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference (3-6 September 2008, Warwick, UK)
4D Technologies: appropriating handheld computers to serve the needs of teachers and learners in rural African settings (2005-10)
Leach, Jennifer; Power, Tom; Thomas, Rhodri; Fadani, Xolisa and Mbebe, Andile
In : mLearn 2005 (25-28th October 2005, Cape Town, South Africa)
Building teachers' professional knowledge through ICT: experience and analysis across the digital divide (2002-09-13)
Leach, Jenny; Moon, Bob and Power, Tom
In : European Conference on Educational Research (11-14 September 2002, School of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)
ICT and the building of professional knowledge: Experience in different African contexts (2002-08-01)
Kwelemtini, A.; Leach, J. and Power, T.
In : 2nd Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning : Open Learning: Transforming Education for Development (29 July - 2 August 2002, International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa)
Assessment Project - Bangladesh. Baseline Study. (2016)
Power, Tom; Cullen, Jane; Woodward, Clare; Mathew, Rama; Payler, Jane and McCormick, Robert
The British Council, Dhaka (In Press).
Classroom Practices of Primary and Secondary Teachers Participating in English in Action: Third Cohort (2014) (2015)
Li, Nai; McCormick, Robert; Power, Tom; Burton, Sonia; Siddique, Ashraf and Rahman, Shajedur
English in Action (EIA), Dhaka.
English Proficiency Assessments of Primary and Secondary Teachers and Students Participating in English in Action: Third Cohort (2014) (2015)
Li, Nai; McCormick, Robert; Power, Tom; Siddique, Ashraf; Burton, Sonia and Rahman, Shajedur
English in Action (EIA), Dhaka.
English Proficiency Assessments of Primary and Secondary Students Participating in English in Action: Third Cohort (2014) Large-Scale Quantitative Study (2015)
Li, Nai; McCormick, Robert; Power, Tom; Siddique, Md. Ashraf; Burton, Sonia and Rahman, Md. Shajedur
English in Action
English Proficiency Assessments of Primary and Secondary Teachers and Students Participating in English in Action: Second Cohort (2013) (2014-12)
Eyres, Ian; Power, Tom; McCormick, Robert and Burton, Sonia
English in Action, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Synthesis Report: Evidence of the Relationship between English and Economic Gain in Bangladesh (2014-12)
Erling, Elizabeth and Power, Tom
English in Action, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Classroom Practices of Primary and Secondary Teachers Participating in English in Action: Second Cohort (2013) (2014)
Woodward, Clare; Burton, Sonia; Power, Tom; McCormick, Robert and Siddique, Md. Ashraf
English in Action, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Learning from BSF: Lessons from the Basic Services Fund, South Sudan, 2006 to 2012 (2013-02)
Johnson, Richard; Ockelford, Jeremy and Power, Tom
Department for International Development
Scoping Mission for an English Language Training (ELT) Programme in South Sudan. Final Report (2011-07-28)
Power, Tom and Simpson, John
Department for International Development, Cambridge, UK.
DEEP IMPACT: an investigation of the use of information and communication technologies for teacher education in the global south: Researching the issues (2006-02-23)
Leach, Jenny; Ahmed, Atef; Makalima, Shumi and Power, Tom
Department for International Development (DFID), London, UK.

News

Victoria Cumming, recipient of the Andrew Cornell Award 2017

WELS student wins Andrew Cornwell Award 2017

Victoria Cumming received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Work and was also given the Andrew Cornwell Award 2017 for the highest-performing graduate in the social work programme at the Open University's degree ceremony

6th November 2017
See all

Are you already an OU student?

Go to StudentHome

Request your prospectus

Request a prospectus icon

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus